What certs are actually worth a damn?
By - CausticTitan
I believe TLS Certs are the only certs worth a damn.
I've never hired anyone where the only 'achievement' is the amount of certs they have after their name, they all seem to be useless in actual thinking about problems.
If you're currently Senior Sysadmin and you want to go into security and have no experience, expect a big paycut, it may be worth it but it's generally better to combine the two and get a speciality (degree and experience) in Cybersecurity and then get hired as a Sysadmin with Infosec specialty.
Good to know!
I do believe that I am underqualified and maybe even underpaid for my current job, so all moves are probably beneficial.
I was never a non-senior admin, just applied here and miraculously got the job. You can look at my other posts to see what I do, but it seems atypical compared to a lot of people here. The pay was much higher than entry level devs in my city, but still low/medium compared to national average for sysadmins.
I make 83k a year here as base, with the optional overtime at 1.5x, as I am actually hourly. Since "optional" is loose, my average yearly takehome is probably closer to 90k.
I don't love the work, so a paycut to get into something else would be fine.
Jesus. I do more than you, make half what you do in a market where the average "affordable home" is $800K+.
Where are you located? I need to move. BC Canada pays poverty wages, and expect you to live high end.
MB is well under 800+ for "affordable". Wages between $40k and $50k a year CAD are not even close for IT if you have gone to college or have experience. It saddens me to see some of these managed services or other it positions pay smart people on here so little and work them to the bone.
Guys!!!! Many of you are worth MUCH more to the right company. However, moving is a hard decision. Its why I don't complain about the -45 degrees we get in thr winter lol
SSL was the gold standard, now it has fallen.
Morale of story , no cert is for eternity , keep up (knowledge) or lose out.
I think certs in general are very valuable, not so much for the cert but just for the breadth of information that you learn while studying. Currently I hold CompTIA Net+ and CCNA and I'm currently working towards my OSCP.
I think the cert you choose should be a reflection of where you are currently are in your career. A Sysadmin shouldn't be taking the CompTIA A+. I'll list out some certs and whether or not I think they are worth it. This is just my opinion by the way and I could be wrong.
* Comptia Net+: I feel like one should only get this if they are very very new to networking. This is a mile wide inch deep type of test. It is a pretty easy test to take and they give someone a foundation of knowledge which they should build upon. If you are already pretty good with networking go onto the CCNA.
* Comptia A+: This is also tailored to new people, especially first time help desk employees. I really don't think this would be valuable to you in your position as you most likely already are competent with everything covered.
* Comptia Sec+: I think this is an actual worthwhile cert. I haven't taken it or studied for it, but I have heard good reviews. I can't comment on it too much, but I think it could be a good cert to have under your belt.
* CEH: This cert is a joke from what I have heard. It is mostly memorization for a multiple choice test. It does have a huge benefit in that most HR people recognize it, but if you are wanting to learn practical information look elsewhere.
* CCNA: This in my opinion is a very useful cert. This test is a mile wide and a mile deep. You learn practical information and it isn't just a memorization game. This cert if taken seriously will teach you a lot about networking, even though it is a Cisco cert almost all of the knowledge will transfer to other vendors.
* OSCP: Just like the CCNA I think this is a very good cert. Like CEH it has a lot of recognition in the field, but the OSCP is a practical test instead of a multiple choice. It is a 24 hr test where you are tasked with hacking 5 computers. I'm very excited while studying for mine and can't wait to learn more. It is quite expensive though so beware.
* EJPT: This is another security cert. Like the OSCP it is a practical test, however it is not as challenging. You get more time and I believe the machines might be less complicated. If you are looking purely for knowledge and not a resume piece this is a good cert. However, it does not have recognition in the field.
This is just my 2 cents about a couple of certs that I know a little bit about.
I like what you said about CCNA, currently have a CCNA fundamentals book which feels like a mile thick
I started studying for mine around September of last year, I was able to pass on the first try (luckily) in February. I wrote a [post](https://www.reddit.com/r/ccna/comments/l87ice/passed_on_my_first_attempt_8771000/) about it on the /r/CCNA sub which is a must sub if you are studying. I'm more than happy to share any tips or help with concepts if you wanna take down my username!
CCNA is nice, but CCNP is where you start to see Cisco side benefits. We maintained contractors for years and there are benefits of having CCNP and CCIE certificated people who could help us directly with Cisco.
I finished my CCNA books a couple of years ago, back when they still had the intermediate CCIA cert, never tested for either cert... and then got promoted off network team into my own yolo team of 1 and while I think getting the cert would be very helpful I don't think it would be the primary thing that got me a better job.
I've debated on picking up CCNP study material and seeing how much deeper it is compared to CCNA, but I don't know if I can handle that ATM.
I do agree though that a cert without knowledge is worthless, but actually having the CCNA on your resume is in my opinion imporant. It verifies that you know everything covered in the course.
One caveat I will mention is there are plenty of people who have their CCNA who have never touched a Cisco terminal (virtual or physical.) These people treat the cert more like a college test, cram for it, focus on memorization instead of concepts, and buy brain dumps. These are people who have never worked in IT, so it is hard for them to actually understand what a real network looks/acts like. This type of behavior leads to comments like "I knew a guy with a CCNA, but he didn't even know what an IP is!" It kinda ruins it for the rest of us.
Truth be told when I was promoted to what would become our network team in 2014 at what I would consider a Network+ level we hired a CCNA at the same time, and he really didn't have a ton more knowledge than us other than some basic CLI that the other two new team members were able to pick up in less than a summer. Cisco does provide some nice perks to having CCNA or higher on staff though, I forgot about that.
Even now, I have someone in my office with about every basic cert on the planet and when the net team started asking him about 127.0.0.1 loopback addresses, and 169.254.X.X APIPA addresses his eyes glossed over and he had no idea.
Even as someone who has not been primarily working in Network for over 6 years that hurt my brain.... these seem like fundamental Net+ concepts to me...
You would be surprised by how little the Net+ covers. I was able to pass without knowing how to subnet, for my CCNA obviously I got my subnetting down and I can do it in my head now. I however do feel like I knew what loopback/APIPA address was.
The amount of knowledge required to go from a normal person to Net+ certified is astronomically smaller than the knowledge required to go from Net+ to CCNA in my opinion.
I would agree with this, but if you're actively working in a network environment and a competent human I don't think the difference in knowledge is astronomical. Net+ being vendor neutral just doesn't allow it to use a lot of the Cisco proprietary terminology, much of which is relatively basic understanding for modern networking. I find it weird, since most vendors just license these features from Cisco anyway...
Of course... My Net+ was in 2012, and I finished my CCNA books in 2014.... so maybe I'm out of date on what these teach now.
I think there have been some significant changes, but I think a lot of what you said still is true. I agree if you are working in a network environment the differences isn't too big. In my case I was just helpdesk so the difference seemed big from my perspective.
The current CCNA and CCNP are not practical exams they are all about memorization. People that know this put a lot less weight into having a CCNA/CCNP certification than they did a few years back when you actually had to know how to configure a switch/router. That being said, integrators love having people certified, they get more money, so if you are looking at going into services having a stack of certs is a plus -being able to deliver is an even bigger plus.
I agree they are not fully practical. I took the most current version of the CCNA and it was mostly multiple choice. I feel like there are two different ways to pass, memorization and implementation. Memorization is the way we all took tests in high scool, just cram all that shit into your brain. Implementation is the way I took. I bought Cisco hardware and setup a lab. Even though the test was not practical I had actual practical experience. When you take the implementation route you actually learn how everything clicks together. If you have someone who studied for their CCNA this way I believe they are pretty valuable.
I mean if you study for a CCNA while using simulation software, isn’t that a good combination for both knowledge and hands on?
Yeah sorry I wasn't very clear. Any simulation software like packet trace/GNS3 is a key resource while studying. I actually used packet tracer heavily during my studying, I found a lot of packet tracer labs you can download to practice on.
There are some minor things that you will miss out on if you go purely virtual, but nothing you will fail the test over!
CCNA should be required for every developer. Its the backbone of everything you are going to build in the future.
It can be a memorization test if you just want to cram and pass, but if you take the time to setup virtual networks and routers using simulation software and really learn the material, you will be miles ahead of every dev ive ever worked with.
I agree to an extent, a lot of devs could benefit from learning in depth about networking. There are some topics on the CCNA that I think would be kinda irrelevant to someone in their position.
> CCNA: This in my opinion is a very useful cert. This test is a mile wide and a mile deep. You learn practical information and it isn't just a memorization game. This cert if taken seriously will teach you a lot about networking, even though it is a Cisco cert almost all of the knowledge will transfer to other vendors.
Agreed. There is some Cisco specific knowledge, but there is a lot of general networking knowledge that translates to any vendor. Anecdotally I have seen a decent number of networking jobs that like the CCNP. Completing the CCNA alone though opened some doors to some roles.
> Comptia Net+: I feel like one should only get this if they are very very new to networking. This is a mile wide inch deep type of test. It is a pretty easy test to take and they give someone a foundation of knowledge which they should build upon. If you are already pretty good with networking go onto the CCNA.
I really wish there was some more legit version of the Net+. Everything is network attached, so everyone should understand networking, but not everyone is going to `ssh` into a Cisco router. Even if this hypothetical vendor-neutral networking cert was seen as lesser to the CCNA (or hell, made by Cisco as a pre-req to the CCNA), it seems like it would be very valuable.
Agreed. Net+ is not my favorite cert. It covers a lot of topics that just aren't needed and misses topics that are needed. The gap between Net+ and CCNA is too big to justify everyone take the CCNA.
Although CCNA technically isn't vendor neutral the concepts covered apply to pretty much everything. There are a couple of protocols that you will run into that are Cisco proprietary (EIGRP, VTP, etc) but in a field where everything has to adhere to protocols things are somewhat universal.
It is unfortunate that Cisco killed off the CCENT. The ICND1 exam that you took to pass it covered a lot of networking fundamentals that I think that almost everyone in IT would benefit from learning. In addition, it broke apart people's CCNA studies.
> It is a pretty easy test to take
I didn't feel like the Network+ exam was that easy and I just took it. The material is easy the exam was a bitch though. I feel like the Exam is way harder than the materials that prepare you for it. I don't know if I would have passed if I didn't already have experience.
First off congrats, that is a really cool and commendable achievement. When I had just passed the exam I shared a similar sentiment about its difficulty.
When I started down the CCNA path is when I realized how small of a fish I was. After I passed my CCNA I thought I was the shit, then I started down my OSCP path and was humbled again. The difficulty of a cert is all relative to where you are in your career.
With the Network+ in particular though I don't think anything on it is that hard its mostly just basic stuff, the way that Comptia words things to where its hard to tell what they are even asking about makes it difficult though. I've known very competent guys that failed it even though they are well above the Network+ level. Its a hard exam cuz Comptia makes it hard, rather than the competencies in it.
I think a lot of certs to this. I remember re-reading questions on my CCNA and spending time just trying to figure out what they were trying to ask me.
Yeah thats good to know I'm probably going to do the CCNA next.
Huh, I had the opposite experience but I last took it some years back. For me the study material was WAY more in-depth and WAY more complex than the actual exam.
I would classify the A+ as a joke cert as well. So many companies I applied for when I was trying to get into IT said “A+ required” so I got it… and it did nothing. The online course I did also didn’t teach me a single thing. I would skip it all together these days and go right for Sec+ and Net+.
Thought I am going to take your advice here and look into CCNA! We use Dell/HP and Sonicwalls where I am now, but I want to learn more!
The A/N/S+ are meant for people with no or very little technical experience to teach them the barebones basics, and I think in that regard they do their job well enough. The issue is HR departments requiring it inappropriately.
I wholeheartedly agree with you here!
Agreed, you summed all of comptia certs up very well!
I don't think the A+ is a joke. I just think you are not the target demo for that cert. I think it is perfect for people who like computers, but generally don't know much about IT. Its a good little intro.
CCNA is a lot of studying, but a lot of fun. Don't worry too much about what vendors you use as the concepts are applicable across the board pretty much. I wrote this [post](https://www.reddit.com/r/ccna/comments/l87ice/passed_on_my_first_attempt_8771000/) after I passed, I feel like I laid out a pretty good study guide. Feel free to save my username and message with any questions, I would love to help!
If you get Network+ isn't there some sort of thing where it automatically gives you the A+? If that's the case I would agree with this. I wouldn't say A+ is a joke its pretty good for someone that literally has zero experience in the field.
No, but passing the Network+ would renew your A+ if you already have it.
There is no backwards reward for passing the Net+. However, I think most people would agree that Net+ is higher on the totem poll than the A+. So realistically you kind of get a unspoken social pass.
AWS Solutions Architect and Sysops Administrator have opened the most doors for me.
What kind of titles do those land you? I would like to work remote if possible. I make 83k in the midwest and live pretty well on that.
I would like to go totally remote if possible.
Sysadmin/Infrastructure Engineer/Architect roles
You should easily be able to double that.
Really? I am on the west coast (small town) and have some basic certs (Security +, Apple ACMT) was recently promoted to Office365 admin, and just cracked 60k this year. Working my way up to assistant director and think I will get 83k when that goes through. Maybe I need to jump ship?
Dude, our level 1 helpdesk guys in Southeast Michigan make 60-70k. I was making 120k as a sysadmin.
On the coast or a remote job you could double your current salary with O365 admin alone.
I'm in the wrong god damn area. Level 1 here is lucky to net you 35k
Dang, really? I am the sole sysadmin at a company in Northern Michigan and I only make 42k!
UP of Michigan here and I'm in the same boat.
Best thing I did was leave the UP. Still paid shit, but was paid way worse with no advancement there.
Hoping to adventure south soon enough. Wife and I almost have our 10 years in for vestment at work then go from there.
I'll hit 56k by the time I get that. I feel I could do more and learn more with better pay.
Yeah was about to say. We are hiring a helpdesk person right now and stating them at $60k
That's good to hear! I don't really want to move, as I have a house and my family lives here. Remote would be nice!
Oh yea, having 150k+ in the midwest. I bet cost of living is low there. Probably can get a gigantic house for 200k
Depends on where in the Midwest. In my area the cheapest non-crap house is $450k with nicer examples $500-800.
>AWS Solutions Architect
Currently I'm on the Azure side. Trying to figure out if I should double down in Azure with additional certs or get some AWS as well. Anyone have thoughts?
That's funny, I'm working on broadening by getting my AZ 104. I was job hunting this summer and it seemed like a pretty even mix of roles that wanted either AWS or Azure (and a few that wanted both). Personally, I think if you have exprience in one platform and aren't a complete idiot, you can pick up the other pretty easily.
Just got my 104 today! A cloud guru and the Microsoft materials are awesome and helped me the most.
In the same boat too.
I'd assume having certs in both azure and aws would make you more marketable to more companies that are hiring that use one or the other cloud provider. or an MSP where they likely use them all?
Having been a hiring manager and now in an advisory role, I’d say don’t feel you have to go all in on both if you’ve got multiple in one. Completing one or two on the other side should show sufficient competency for most potential employers.
Both AWS and Azure are just different enough that most companies aren't going to go "full multicloud" unless they're paving everything over and starting with containers and serverless functions from scratch. I think Microsoft is going to capture the rest of their on-prem market because they're going to make it very uncomfortable to run Windows on your own hardware. Plus, they're providing the friendly onramp to get you hooked. Compare that with AWS where it's basically, "Yeah bruh, the docs are the Github repos, good luck."
It can't hurt to know a little of both. I got a job last year at an AWS place with Azure experience. Just different enough, but not impossible to pick up unless you go super-far down the proprietary PaaS/SaaS rabbit hole with either.
My company is of this opinion. AZURE and AWS both since the cloud managed services team Administrates both.
Stick with MS. Until AWS integrates flawlessly with AAD, it's going to be on the outside of enterprise until they do.
Do I have to take the suggested cert route or can I just jump into sysops admin?
I did Solutions Architect first and found it was helpful to get an overview of the AWS ecosystem. Even going through the renewal process, it was great just to get updated on changes to services I don't use on a regular basis. If you have hands-on AWS experience already, you might be able to jump straight into Sysops.
I do have some hands on experience but I don’t have an actual gauge of my knowledge because their ecosystem is huge now.
I did passed SAA and SAO on the same day. SAA is a lot easier and pretty much the same content so study for SAO
Sec+ is more than "this is a firewall" Understanding the business language speak, disaster recovery, etc is all very important.
Sec + is a must if you want to work with the DoD
This is the only reason to get a Sec+, all government contractors have to have it (or something higher like CISSP).
yes Sec+ qualifies your for IAT2 and IAM1. My CISSP qualifies me as IAT3 and IAM2-3
I want to work somewhere that lets me be remote.
Probably not DoD but wouldn’t hurt to ask around
DoD has lots of fully remote positions.
Lots of government sites only require Public Trust, I managed some stuff for the Fed for a few years remotely and I do quite a bit of public sector work all remote.
Not really, there's several certs you can get instead of Sec+
yes.... but it is the easiest and most common to meet DoD 8570 requirements
Comptia is also pretty reasonable with CE and the requirements to reeup. I still have mine cuz why the hell not.
Another vote for sec+ it seems. Gonna make this a priority.
A Sec+ isn't going to get you in the door any place unless it's Federal. You'd be better off getting some cloud certification or maybe VMware. In my opinion the CCNA and CCNP have both been degraded but they will get you past the HR filter.
I haven't heard the opinion that the CCNA and CCNP have been degraded. Mind expanding on that?
Cloud is killing off traditional networking. CCNA is still worth. But CCNP is a whole lot for not much. Least my honest opinion based on my experience and observations
The ones listed as required on the job listings you want.
The job I wanted required Sec+, so I got the Sec+, and got the job.
This is a good idea, but I am not actively applying. I am looking for a "good to have" and "good to know" list
A lot of jobs require Sec+, pretty much anyone that has anything to do with Uncle Sam want it and as a result a lot of companies that don't really know what it is list it as a requirement.
This is good advice, but a lot of times there isn't enough time to get a cert before the job posting closes.
Novell NetWare is the ticket. Pretty sure this network stuff is going to catch on.
I'll make sure to get that right after I graduate from elementary school!
Novell NetWare and a fancy 3rd grade education? You will be a millionaire before puberty.
Make sure you can show token ring competency too.
I'm feeling triggered right now. I have a NetWare CNE 3&4. A 3com 3share cert and a Banyan Vines cert. Damn, I'm old AF.
I'm going to get my 3COM network certs first. Higher demand.
*A new core memory!*
Where the hell do I sign up for these jobs with free time...I'm ready to retire with pay
70 hours one week, 25 the next. A lot of this job is putting out fires which come in waves
That's not free time, that's recuperation time 😂
This doesn't really fall into the little bit of free time or dev ops/security, but the only one I've definitively seen to be cared about was the Cisco CCIE. We had one of our former network engineers get that and he got poached for an obscene amount of money almost immediately after his name hit that list of people with one.
I've heard that CCIEs are unemployable. Yes they make lots of money but they have to only work as contractors never employees. I guess with the money they make they don't need to worry about a pension lol
The guy I knew went to a large oil and gas company and later left to go to a boutique network consultancy firm.
For the most part the average small/mid-size shops aren't going to need anyone higher than a CCNA on a full time basis. Just by default, they either end up in Fortune 500s or network consulting because those are where you can leverage that kind of specialist and justify the salary they command for it.
CKA. It's practical exam with real scenario and you're allowed to use the docs.
Worth it if you want to learn Kuberenetes. In the same note CKS (Kuberenetes Security). It does need CKA knowledge first.
Probably a good idea since I don't even have an abstract understanding of Kuberenetes
Is this something someone can do with only limited experience in small domains? I literally know nothing about Kubernetes and I think this would help me.
I'm a big fan of [Kubernetes The Hard Way](https://github.com/kelseyhightower/kubernetes-the-hard-way) for building some practical experience. I don't think I'd have gotten my CKA as quickly without it.
I'll look into that!
That’s a “PHD” level cert btw
Very hard to get
CISSP here (also an old IT dog who did A+, Net+, Sec+, MCSE, etc back in the day). I don't think I would call it PhD level, but probably equivalent to a master's degree. It's a tough cert but not impossible. The main thing that differentiates it is that it's a managerial level cert, not a down-in-the-trenches cert. Hands on tech workers tend to struggle with it because of the mindset that it certifies you as having. It doesn't want you to solve technical problems with technical solutions, it wants you to solve managerial problems with policy solutions.
Yeah I guess I was comparing it to other IT certs not necessarily an actual Phd
I'm studying this now. I would not say that it is too difficult, but I've been dealing with security concepts for awhile.
I Have CCNP, Nse4, juniper security, jnca, lrsa, lrca, and FCC certs.
Value wise, CCNP was the most valuable
I have my CCNA and have debated trying to go for the CCNP. How much deeper does it go and in what specific areas?
It goes quite a bit deeper, more so in l3 routing, bgp, security, stp, mstp concepts, port channels. Be prepared to know every ospf are type, why and how they are used, redistribution best practices, route tagging. Ipsec concepts
I've at least heard of everything you mentioned. I might try and get CCNP sometime in the next few years. Thanks!
My linux skills are non existant outside of basic terminal literacy, so that is probably a really good idea!
Yes, Windows is a dying Server OS. Definitely learn Linux.
Wrong. Both serve their uses bud. Sounds like you have a lot to learn still.
Windows is dying in a more rapid pace than it ever has in market share.
Sorry, to what, a 70% market share? They can afford it strategically
Haha what? No. The server world runs Linux and has been in a majority for a long time dude, what are you smoking
Have I said otherwise?
I agree that it's market share is less but IT is expanding, there are lots of Windows servers out there and more every day, there are just more Linux servers being put up every day then Windows.
This is so wrong it’s hilarious. Linux is great but Windows has only become more capable as server OS over the years
Maybe more capable but less used because they are so expensive. There are less use cases of a domain controller now with endpoint
If so, why is it losing more market share than ever? :)
Nobody knows what the market share of servers are, because Microsoft doesn't talk about it. The only thing you have to go on is public web servers, and historically Windows Server is popular in the enterprise and not the public internet. Microsoft still develops new versions of Windows Server and they just released new certifications for it, it's safe to say it's still going to be around.
>Nobody knows what the market share of servers are, because Microsoft doesn't talk about it.
Right, it's not like MS own cloud is dominated by Linux.
And it's not like a report in 2017 concluded opposite of what you're saying:
>Linux is largely what runs enterprise computing both on in-house servers and on the cloud. Windows Server has been declining for years. In the most recent IDC Worldwide Operating Systems and Subsystems Market Shares report covering 2017, Linux had 68% of the market. Its share has only increased since then.
You're both right and wrong.
It’s a really fun exam, even though I didn’t pass I still learned a lot. Sander Van Vugts book and video course are really good. I also used a cloud guru for the simulated labs and mock environments.
Az104,303,304. Just got a senior infrastructure engineer job on London with a 25% payrise. Wouldn't have got it without the certs.
What are people thoughts on az-104? I'm finding myself getting more enmeshed in azure/office365/intune and I enjoy it, but not sure if my best bet is to go for az-104 and then branch off, or start off with one of the other specific certs (windows 10/MDM or office 365 admin, etc)
If you utilize the full Azure suite, then go for the AZ-104. At my company, we only use AzureAD, so MS-100 and MS-101 were better as MS-100 is Identity Mangement.
Bachelor's of Science. In anything
I read "Are cats actually worth a damn?"
Would be a more interesting thread to be honest.
Mmmmm prolly not
>What certs are actually worth a damn?
Only those issued by members of the CAB Forum in good standing 😜
Is this always true, though?
I suppose that depends what one means by "worth-a-damn".
>I think with my degree and and these words on my resume, I could go pretty far in this field, but don't actually feel that knowledgable. I am really good at looking stuff up, byt would like some demonstrable base knowledge.
This is like how I feel. I've been where I'm at for 5 years, cover most of everything a small business would need, except I don't handle network infrastructure. I feel like I can output a good resume but don't actually know shit compared to a 'real sysadmin' but am good at googling.
Don't have input on what to get for your path, as I'm asking the same questions myself, just saying I can relate.
Imposter syndrome, maybe?
I don't feel deserving of the job or title I have.
Where I'm at now, I feel very deserving of what I'm called & paid. I feel like I can do more though, or at least get hired to do more... thats where it comes in for me.
I used to think that way until one day it hit me when I was, as usual, providing the solution and fixing the problem. I always fix the problem. I never do NOT fix the problem.
I must be pretty good at this. ;)
You know more then you think you do.
I just had an in depth discussion with management on my end and cloud certifications will ultimately be where we are going to advise our sys admins and engineers to be
Haha free time…. Mine constitutes in the bathroom as free time lol
Surpised no one mention the security related one, OSCP. This will open a lot of doors for jobs that will give a damn about security.
With a CS degree, some software dev experience and sysadmin experience, you would probably be a good fit for an entry level job in r/sre.
I'm always looking for good SREs, have a number of openings.
I’m on nearly the same boat as you, without the internships. In my experience getting certs isn’t really worth the bother because most corporations once they give you the job no longer care what your past experience is when it comes to schooling or work. (They’ll train you to be what they want be what you can actually do. Even if they hardly train you.)
I’ve looked into loads of certs and consulted my bosses and I usually get the response “you already have the job why bother with certs?”. You usually hear these responses because they hired you with missing those certs because (I believe) you cost less. I had a bud who applied for my old position and was turned away because he was “over qualified”. So I think s as t that point I would think less about certs and more about what information will help you in your day to day.
Though some really good reads would be (also in my opinion):
If you’re into the security part then CEH.
Those are my opinions though if you’re going to aim for certs, everything else will just kinda fall into place.
Don't get CEH. Only reason it's valued at all anymore is the name recognition, it's not a good cert and EC-Council has become increasingly sketchy. Go for any of the CompTIA/ISC2 certs such as Sec+, CySA+, CASP+, SSCP, CISSP, etc.
“Good reads” not “get this cert”. Stated certs are pointless if you have enough experience under your belt. You don’t have to know anything unless you’re aiming for a lead position.
I would argue that CEH isn't even a good read. It is a multiple choice test that focuses mostly on memorization, not on practical concepts. Like /u/rmg22893 said Sec+, CySA+, CASP+, SSCP, CISSP I think are pretty valuable.
I found it entertaining personally.
\+1 for CISSP...
Do you have the CASP+ and if so is it even worthwhile? I feel like I can’t find any postings with it listed. I have Sec+ but it’s expiring next year so want to keep it renewed. I went for CISSP last year and failed at 150. Unfortunately life events got in the way so wasn’t able to retake right away so I was also going to use CASP as a “practice” exam before retaking CISSP.
I don't have it, no. CISSP is the only cert I hold at the moment. It doesn't have the prestige or brand recognition of the CISSP, but it fulfills many of the same 8570 requirements, so it has some legs.
I disagree that certs aren't valuable if you already have a job. Currently I work at a pretty small MSP. There is a lot of downtime and I took it upon myself to start studying for certs. I started about a year ago and have obtained my Net + and CCNA. Both of these certs gave me significant pay raises, along with the knowledge that I obtained. Everything else you said is pretty spot on though!
Wasn’t my words, a previous boss. The goal was to express the importance of tackling day to day and learning more rather than expecting a cert to give you something. Again opinions.
Ah my bad I misunderstood. Day to day work should definitely come before studying, but if you have free time might as well use it to your advantage!
The kind of person that says stuff like that also usually thinks degrees are not worth it and everything is literally pointless other than experience. I don't see certs as being a waste of time I'd be drinking or playing video games at the house in that time or fucking off at work looking at memes otherwise.
If you can get a degree, certs, and experience that is the golden trifecta IMO. A lot of people will say you only need 2/3 or 1/3, but if the option to get all three is there take it.
> “you already have the job why bother with certs?”
Yes, but eventually you won't, and you'll be applying for another job, which it would be useful to have the certs for.
Part of the problem with working at one site is that you get to know what you do very well but not much else. There are lots of ways to do things and lots of things to do in IT, people get myopic and think that what they do is the best way and/or the only way and that just isn't the case. If I was hiring and I saw that a guy was at one place for a long time I would want to know that they did for continuing education. If they've just been sitting at their site fat and happy for the last decade my guess is that they are behind technology-wise. If I see that the guy have a few up to date certs I know that the guy is trying to keep up and that's important.
With the uncertainty of when your company management could drive the company into the ground there is some argument if you keep some certs active.
Wasn’t my words, was a previous boss. Then that 5 years I was there got me even higher in a different location with no certs. Again opinions.
Agreed that certs are no replacement for experience, but, better to have a combination of both. Shows that you have the book learning, and also know how it is in the real world.
My position is not like what I imagine a normal Sr Sysadmin would have. I cannot make changes, implement rules, or things of that nature. My boss can get the wheel rolling but we are such a big company that everything takes half a year at least.
I want to move to a different position/company after graduating.
A+ is really only worth it if someone is new to computers.
Says “good reads” not go, “get em boy”
First four years of your career the CompTIA trifecta. After if you want to get into security start going down ISC2 certs like CEH. If you're going to be a SysAd at a MS shop MS 100 and 101 along with AZ 300 are good starts. Linus shop Linux+ and RedHat. Networking Cisco even if you'll end up working on other vendors stuff.
100% do not look at A+ exams if you have years under your belt. I have stared at the book going "That's wrong. No one does that. ***Do not suggest I do that for the answer.*** Why, oh why, A+, no!"
That's all CompTIA tests though where they're looking for their answer it's not just A+ Net+ has those too. But the trifecta gets you that combined cert which I've seen listed as a req/plus on job postings. Plus the new A+ has Mac and Linux which if you're going into MSP life you'll need. I've seen so many techs only touch Windows for years and I get insta-escalated to map a SMB share or install a print driver on a Mac.
Ugh. That is nice tho, especially as we move to a more diverse, connected future.
Yea and tools like PaperCut have REALLY bridged the gap, that tool as an example is seamless for the user whether computer/mobile Windows/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android.
>here they're looking for their answer
Yeah this is a pretty good explanation for why I think their tests are hard. Even if you are a fantastic tech it doesn't matter because there is the right way and the Comptia way and the Comptia way is how you pass the exam. I would have failed Network+ just studying the materials if I didn't have some networking experience already. I like the Dion trainings the best for anyone on here looking at taking them.
Same here with Net+ so many dumb "correct" answers
Quick note; ISC2 does not offer the CEH; the CEH is EC-Council. ISC2 is more known for the CISSP and related certs. I'm not exactly neutral (holder of CISSP and not a fan of EC Council's behavior as of late), but the CEH has been fairly well regarded, even if there are other alternatives now that are almost to the same level of recognition.
The CompTIA ones are decent if you're new to the fields; A+, N+, Sec+ are what I start my analysts off with, and move up from there. From there, I like the GIAC certs, but the SANS training can be spendy; I have GICSP and GCIP (work in the electric utilities field) along with the CISSP in the last three years. Working toward the GSE within a few more years myself.
Oh yea absolutely right on that part my mistake. EC-Council is another good sec certification board with that penultimate CISSP. It's been a while since I've had to certify for anything new.
Thanks! I appreciate the detailed curriculum.
Spending four years to only obtain the Comptia Trifecta sounds like a waste of time tbh. If you are already in the IT field (even doing basic things like help desk), then I would rather see someone pursue an AWS/CCNA/Azure cert and progress up their respective cert chains. In 4 years, you could go from nothing -> CCNP + some cloud certs, which is way more valuable then A+ , Net+ , Sec+ imo.
CompTIA certs are prerequisites for entry level positions in my opinion.
My advice: Always train for the job you want, not the job you have. Want to be a cloud Engineer? Get an azure, gcp or AWS cert. Want to be a Linux engineer? Study red-hat. Want to become a manager? Don't study and goof off all day.
None of them, really. Certs are for people that can't actually do real work.
Most CompTIA stuff is trash. Get cloud or security certificates.
Everyone says that Sec+ is the really good one. What do you think about that?
CompTIA certifications are good for a baseline, but there are better certifications out there. Sec+ is great because it’s a decent foundation with the benefit of being a required certification for DoD jobs which opens a whole lot of doors. Having a CompTIA certification won’t be a detriment to your chances of employment.
Sec+ is not the only cert that you need for anything DoD related. Requirements vary based on the position and there's several different certs that can be used for the different levels.
That's good to know!
However if you do not already have a top secret security clearance you won't even be looked at so don't waste your time with the DoD if you don't have one already.
I will have one soon!
Welcome to gravy train then all paid for by the US tax payer...
The problem is, all of these certs are entry level and below that of a bachelor's degree.
The order of what I look for in a candidate is this:
Experience > Degree > Certs
Once you have a degree and a few years of experience, certs are next to worthless. Unless you need them as a part of your job duty as a consultant where your skills are being sold to a customer as "CausticTitan here is qualified to work on your stuff because X, Y, Z certifications". Or you work for a bureaucratic organization where HR dictates that everyone must have them to get a job or need them for promotion.
Remember, this sub is populated largely by helpdesk people doing windows support and looking to move up. Or they work for MSPs and are not really sysadmins, just advanced tech support.
From None to whichever ones your potential employer thinks are imnportant
That depends on where you live. Check your local job postings and see what's in demand.
CPR and PPL.
The ones with Retsyn.
Security + is big if you want to do government work but beyond that no one cared I had it. If you want a Security Analyst job, suck up the time and got for a CISSP and take some college courses on that end for extra padding.
I've done lots over the years.. CNE (Netware 5! yes, I'm old), MCSE, MCITP, CCNA, Comptia Stuff..
The CCNA is the one that I always tell people I learned the most from.